Errant

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Errant

Postby chuck_starchaser » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:04 pm

PU (Parallel Universe) will, in the not too distant future, open the Privateer universe from Gemini to the Sol sector. We brainstormed quite a bit about it, though far less than enough; but one of the conclusions we arrived at is that we don't want to expand the map just for the sake of having a bigger map. We want each sector to be unique. Among the variations there'd be,
  • Some change or two in the factional landscape
  • New, different communications in space
  • Some changes in the commodities
  • New bases: drydocks, factories, fighter garrisons, commodity exchanges, habitats
  • New music tracks and space backgrounds
  • Changes to preferred ships: Hunters fly Banshees and Toads, instead of Demons; merchants fly Clarksons, FreeTraders and Errants, etceteras.
The Errant (WC movie's Dilligent) is a 2650's ship, so, partly to make a 2660's version, and partly because I had no references for modeling other than the Confederation Handbook, which doesn't show the back or bottom, I've modeled my own, fanciful interpretation of it; call it "Errant 2" if you will.

Image

Image

Let's hope Proxima Spaceworks don't put a bounty on my head... Maybe I'll stick to Gemini...
Well, there will be a few more greebles; it's kind of plain right now.
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Re: Errant

Postby ace123 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:51 am

Just curious: why must each sector be entirely unique. I can understand the bases, music and backgrounds. But surely there would be some trickle of ships between Gemini and Sol. Sure, it may not be many people, and maybe just traders that you would see on the border systems. But unless I'm missing something what you're describing sounds more like traveling to a different territory, owned by an entirely different faction rather than just a sector. There needs to be some reason for such a big change in the units.

True, it is not possible to make any changes to gemini, and still keep the storyline. But maybe instead, make sol gradually fade as you move farther from gemini. Like border systems have some new bases, but largely the same ships. Keep the idea of backgrounds and music along the border--that is an interesting touch and lets the player know that he has moved into sol.

Then systems two jumps away have only the new bases, and mostly the new preferred ships but still a couple of demons flying around. And 3 or more systems away from gemini have only the occasional tarsus or something like that.

This avoids a really drastic change, while still keeping gemini in tact from privateer.
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Re: Errant

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:40 am

That would be fantastic; I just wasn't sure how possible it would be to control ship spawning frequencies
from system to system. Frankly, I was never sure it was possible from sector to sector either; but figured
we could make some python hack that switches tables based on sector. But if we could make "active tables"
that change gradually along geography, that might be a great feature in some places. I think the python
code right now is faction-centric and geography-agnostic; I could be wrong.
On the other hand, and now in terms of canon, we simply don't know what militias or merchants or hunters
fly in Sol or any sector except Gemini, as Privateer was the only civilian-side game in the WC series.
In the novels there's a couple of mentions of civilian ships, in Action Stations and Fleet Action and False
Colors; but very passing mentions and belonging to different time-frames from that of Privateer. We
don't know what's the political or trading relationship between Gemini and Sol. From all apparences, Gemini
is a sort of resources based extent of space under tight control by the Confederation, to wit:

  • People in the Sol sector's main political issue is with the high taxes.
  • Taxes are never even mentioned in Gemini; never paid by Burrows in any trading.
  • Instead, mining bases' bartenders in Gemini speak of the Confed taking away larger and larger portions
    of their raw output.
From all of which I would conclude that Gemini's trade and taxes laws are so diametrically different from
those in Sol that it might be incredibly bureaucratic and troublesome to figure taxes in cross-sector trading.
Which might imply there isn't much cross-sector trading, except the ores taken as war taxes by the confed
and shipped to sol in cargo ships operated by the military. The original game's Gemini isolation needs to be
retconned, somehow, and this assumed prerogative would support it: flying being initially limited to Gemini
could be explained tacitly in PU by Burrows, at some point, getting a special Confed license to fly between
Gemini and Sol sectors, and then finding the routes pretty desolate, except for the occasional Clarkson flying
to/from Perry non-stop and with fighter escort.

Then, a drastic change in ship types would also be justified by protectionist incentives: Perhaps the Centurion
and Drayman and Demon are manufactured in Gemini. Or... they could be manufactured in Avalon, which
sector could be in a similar situation as Gemini and have special arrangements with Gemini.
From a practical standpoint, there are tons of ships to choose from, in WC canon, and throwing them all
in everywhere just overloads the players' minds and cheap-ifies the whole experience. I think that flying
between sectors should be a cultural shock, even more so than flying between countries. Why not? We're
talking different worlds; settled in different centuries. In Gemini most people seem to think the Confed
are total morons, --corrupt, inefficient, incompetent. That's very different from public opinion in Sol, who
make a sharp distinction between Confed Military and the Confed civilian government. Sol's asteroids and
natural resources are probably in decline; their manufacturing thriving; whereas Gemini is the opposite.
Sol has a lot of history and culture; whereas Gemini is more of a wild west.

Last but not least, we never hear about piracy in Sol. It may very well be that there is no pirate faction
to be found in Sol, and that fear of piracy is another factor in restricting cross-sector travel. Similarly,
there may not be Retros (Church of Man) in Sol. Outside of Gemini, we hear of retros operating in
Avalon (attack on Sheol research station); and there may be an implied connection to Border Worlds, in
that, in RF, there's a bar rumor about the retros having got Hunter Toth by immobilizing his ship. That
would be leach technology, which only the Confed and Border Worlds possess. But there's no mention of
retros in Sol, whether in the games or the novels. There's no mention of mercenaries in Sol, either, for
that matter. And at least some militias in Sol fly Thunderbolts, we read in Heart of the Tiger, which
they never do in Gemini.

The splitting of Border Worlds and Landreich from the Confederation could well be a stage to which every
sector controlled by Sol is eventually destined, and Gemini's current subservience is per force. It seems
so from all the evidence. So, perhaps Gemini is simply too young a sector to have realized enough of a
cultural self-identity yet; but the seeds of distinctiveness and independence may already be sprouting.

If you like conspiracy theories, the retros migh actually be a secret Confed plot to keep Gemini technology
and economic infrastructure from advancing too much, and so ensure it remains a resource based sector.

EDIT:
Come to think of it, Gemini might even have a different currency from Sol: A military fighter costs fifty
million credits to produce in 2629, according to Action Stations; but a fairly good civilian fighter costs
only two hundred thousand credits in Gemini in 2669 ?!?!?!?!
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